I continue to test and either reject or approve Mac software for The A-List of Mac Software. The biggest change since the last issue of the newsletter is the advancement of a very hot disk utility to the A-List. DiskWarrior from Alsoft came highly recommended to me by several IT pro readers who manage Macs. They were dead right.
It takes a problem to be won over by a utility product. And that’s exactly what happened. The problem was a disk error that Apple’s Disk Utility was able to identify but unable to repair. There was no apparent problem with my hard drive. No symptoms. SMART checked out fine. It didn’t appear to be a physical problem with the hard drive, but rather a corruption of the data on the disk. I tote my primary machine back and forth from work everyday, and even though I’m extremely conscious of how important that piece of hardware is, and I back it up, well — there are few guarantees in life. And none of them is related to computers.
So, that was the problem. It took me a while to warm up to the $100 DiskWarrior because you have to boot it from the CD, and it takes forever to load. But it’s worth it. Because once up and running, DiskWarrior’s Directory tool made short work of it. Afterward, Disk Utility happily reported no problems.
The next disk problem will be a job for TechTool Pro by Micromat, which is also on the scheduled-for-evaluation list.
Some other notes: I guess I’m becoming more of a Mac guy. I removed Intego’s VirusBarrier X4 from my two most-used Macs. I think it’s a great product, and I’m leaving it on the A-List. But like most Mac users, I just don’t feel the need for this utility right now. I’m not making a formal recommendation with that announcement — just owning up to a reality. There are no viruses on the Mac. It’s possible there will be someday. But I’ll worry about that then.
I’m also adding a program to the evaluation list. It’s called Yank, and it’s another Mac uninstaller tool. I really love AppZapper, but it occasionally misses things that get tucked into out of the way places. When I uninstalled VirusBarrier, AppZapper left behind a context-menu item. Yank doesn’t rely on search to find files left behind when you delete the main program file. It creates a log when you install. What about programs installed before you installed Yank? Matterform offers a file-sharing service for sharing Yank uninstall scripts for specific programs that you can download and run. Not sure that’s going to be a big help, though. The first three programs I searched for weren’t there. Still, I like the idea of a more complete uninstall. Could be I’ll use both AppZapper and Yank. We’ll see.
I’m having some second thoughts about skEdit as a text editor. It’s still my preferred HTML editor on the Mac. But I may go back and check out TextMate again. It’s been very heavily recommended by readers who have written to me with A-List suggestions. Even more so than BBEdit, whose UI I’m not fond of.